This unit will trace the historical development and understanding of human rights and their relation to justice. It will examine some influential contemporary theories of justice and human rights and explore how they have found expression and consensual agreement in internationally ratified documents. These documents will be studied in detail. Particular attention will be given to the Roman Catholic understanding of justice and rights and how they found expression in official Catholic documents and in the writings of Catholic theologians. Finally, this unit will explore a range of contemporary issues such as immigration and cultural diversities; religious liberty and freedom of worship; the role of political authority vis a vis the political rights, responsibilities and participation of citizens; the tragedies of genocides and works of national reconciliation in the aftermath; torture; moral responsibility for the environment; modern forms of slavery; and capital punishment.

Unit Code: DT9012Y

Points: 24.0

Unit Level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit Discipline: Moral Theology

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

Show when this Unit is running

Learning Outcomes


Describe the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human Rights


Articulate the philosophical and theological foundations of the various conflicting justice and human rights positions in public discourse.


Engage in critical dialogue with diverse positions on justice and human rights issues in regard to the foundations for justice and rights


Evaluate the conflicting rights, duties, and responsibilities that public authorities face when formulating public policies that affect human rights


Critically evaluate arguments for positions taken in human rights debates using primary sources


Critically investigate a selected issue in human rights

Unit sequence

DT 8000 or equivalent


Class presentations, discussions, lectures, films and videos


Type Description Wordcount Weight (%)
Seminar or Tutorial

1500 word Tutorial Presentation

1500 30.0

4500 word Major Essay

4500 70.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 31 Dec, 2017

Unit Record last updated: 2019-06-27 14:46:06 +1000